USC Opens 2013 Season At Fullerton On Saturday

    Junior standout Erica Capellino returns to lead the Trojans.

    Aug 28, 2013

    With a new head coach and a new attitude, the USC women's cross country team is set to open the 2013 season at the Mark Covert Classic (5K) hosted by CS Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif. on Aug. 31 at 9:15 a.m. Competing at the meet formerly known as the Fullerton Season Opener will be CS Fullerton, Long Beach State, San Diego, Pepperdine, LMU, CS Bakersfield Pomona-Pitzer, USC and several other teams.

    "For the first meet, we are only about two weeks into training, two weeks since meeting face-to-face, so I told them we are really training through this meet," said USC's new cross country head coach David Freeman. "It is pretty early in the season and the goal is to keep building on the foundation we are establishing right now. This first meet, I'm looking for them to go out there and compete. I want to see how they compete and react to certain situations they might encounter in a race and see what the outcome is."

    USC returns most of its top runners from the 2012 season, led by junior Erica Capellino and sophomore Jenna Tong. Capellino led the Trojans in every regular season meet in which she competed, including winning the 2012 Aztec Invitational individual title while leading USC to the team title. Tong took third in that race and was one of USC's top three finishers in each meet she competed in.

    Although the Trojans have a young squad, they are fairly experienced with the other top returning runners being senior Francesca Adamski, sophomore Nicole Davies, redshirt junior Katie DeYoung, junior Austin Lundin, junior Erin Matranga, junior Erin Robinson, junior Kira Soderstrom and sophomore Natasha Strickland. Expected to compete for the first time this season for USC in cross country are senior Jackie Dion, senior transfer Lindsay Enright, redshirt freshman Lauren Grego and sophomore transfer Alyssa Reardon.



    " At the end of the day, it is pretty much just blowing out the cob webs and really getting back into the groove of things and hopefully getting back into a routine," added Freeman. "The key thing is getting through this meet, getting through all the soreness you will encounter with your first meet, then really relaxing on Sunday and getting back to work on Monday. I'm really using this first meet as a training base, the guide of how to correct some things as we move forward. The goal is for everybody who is healthy to compete. Coach Caryl's (Smith Gilbert) vision is competing. We have to not only get the young women on this team, but the team in total to get back the fire of competing. The only way you develop this is by competing and racing. We want to see how they compete."

    The last time USC competed at the season-opening meet at Fullerton the team took fourth place, led by a 14th-place finish by freshman Christy Ambrosini.